|                                                     |
	      |       March 1992  -==-  Volume I  Number 3          |
	      |                                                     |
	      |       PROGRAMMING FREEDOM  -  mail edition          |
	      |              league@prep.ai.mit.edu                 |
	      |                                                     |
	      |           The Electronic Newsletter of              |
	      |        The League for Programming Freedom           |
	      | 1 Kendall Sq #143, POBox #9171, Cambridge MA 02139  |
	      |  Phone: (617) 243-4091 (voicemail only-leave your   |
	      |address or phone number, and we'll answer your query)|
	      |  Editor: Spike R. MacPhee (spiker@prep.ai.mit.edu)  |
	      |     Reproduction of Programming Freedom via all     |
	      |            electronic media is encouraged.          |
	      |     To reproduce a signed article individually,     |
	      |       please contact the author for permission.     |

		       <><><><><> TABLE OF CONTENTS <><><><><>

			John von Neumann Opposed Patents
	    LPF publicity: Cons, media mentions, & volunteer efforts
	San Jose Mercury News Wed Feb 12, 1992: Apple puts price on suit
       Microsoft Files Dismissal Motions - Analysis by Charles B. Kramer
		      LPF .signature publicity increasing
		 On the road with rms - latest West Coast trip
	      Mail: How can I find out when LPF meetings are going
		    to be held? and a reply by Michael Ernst
			       LPF at SD 92 - rms
	 Who's News: Judge Walker Adds to Drama Of Apple Suit - DELETED
		      LPF email lists - what they are for
		    Mail: An opinion against direct mailing
	       LPF Boutique: Materials Available from the League


			John von Neumann Opposed Patents

     The biography, `John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing'
     (by William Asprey, MIT Press, 1990, pp.  41-45), describes a patent
     dispute in 1946-47 that Von Neumann had with Eckert and Mauchly over
     the EDVAC.  Von Neumann had been a consultant to the EDVAC project and
     had contributed to many of the fundamental inventions there.  In 1946,
     Eckert and Mauchly attempted to patent much of the EDVAC technology,
     including that which von Neumann claimed he had invented.

     The fight ended when a draft report on EDVAC that von Neumann had
     written in 1945 was held to be a prior publication.  Thus, all of the
     inventions in question became part of the public domain.

     One result of this dispute was that von Neumann changed the patent
     policy for his computer project at the Institute for Advanced Studies.
     The original plan was to have patents assigned to individual
     engineers.  Instead, all ideas were placed in the public domain.

     Von Neumann said "This meant, of course, that the situation had taken
     a turn which is very favorable for us, since we are hardly interested
     in exclusive patents, but rather in seeing that anything that we
     contributed to the subject ... remains as accessible as possible to
     the general public."


      <><><>LPF publicity: Cons, media mentions, & volunteer efforts<><><>

     Send in any LPF mentions or volunteer efforts and we'll list it.

     Nov 91:  Unix User reprinted "Against Software Patents"

     Jan - Feb: J. Eric Townsend of U. of Houston, Texas, jet@uh.edu, asked
     for LPF tshirts to sell locally and sold over a dozen, counting the
     three people who emailed and then wrote us as a result of his posts to
     Texas bulletin boards.  He has a stock of handouts, stickers and a few
     buttons that he can give out in the local area.

     Feb 23-8: SD 92 conf in Santa Clara - we again took a booth (see
      article by rms).

     Mar 16: National Law Journal - article on rms & Feb 29 Computer Law
     Symposium at UCal Hastings College of Law.

     Mar 28-9: Boston Computer Society Macintosh Megameeting - LPF table

     Spring 92: (Vol 12 #1) EurOpen: Forum for Open Systems News Letter ran
     "Against Software Patents"


      <>San Jose Mercury News Wed Feb 12, 1992: Apple Puts Price on Suit<>

     Nearly four years after it sued Microsoft Corp. for copyright
     infringement, Apple Computer finally put a whopping $4.4 billion price
     tag on the damages it alleges it suffered at the hands of Microsoft's
     Windows program.

     The enormous sum has no precedent in copyright law and few equals in
     any type of civil litigation in the United States.  It is nearly twice
     Microsoft's #2.4 billion in revenues for all of 1991 and some 70
     percent of Apple's $6.3 billion revenues for the same year.  The
     figure represents almost half the value of company Chairman William H.
     Gates' $7.35 billion stake in Microsoft.

     The figure is contained in a document filed by Apple in U.S. District
     Court in San Francisco on Feb. 1 but sealed until Tuesday, when the
     company agreed to allow Microsoft to make part of it public.  It is
     the latest in a tortuous series of legal maneuvers since Apple sued
     Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1988, alleging that Microsoft had
     copied the "look and feel" of the Macintosh computer's user interface
     in its Windows program.  H-P is involved because the New Wave user
     interface is based largely on Windows.

     The trial is expected to start this summer.

     According to a statement by Microsoft, the amount comprises slightly
     more than $3 billion Apple claims it suffered in reduced unit sales
     and depressed selling prices, and $1.4 billion in gross revenues it
     claims Microsoft realized selling Windows and related applications

     The two companies disagree, however, on what the total figure means.
     Apple spokeswoman Barbara Krause said the sum is not Apple's actual
     damages claim but only the estimate of one expert witness, Robert E.
     Hall of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  "We have not
     said what the damages will be," she said.

     But Microsoft contends it is Apple's "statement of damages," said
     William H.  Neukom, Microsoft's vice president of law and corporate
     affairs, who described the figure as "unsupportable and speculative."

     Attorneys and analysts say the sum is very likely legal posturing, and
     both sides agree the figure Apple actually presents to the jury at the
     start of the trial could be different.  Even if it is not, observers
     agree that the $4.4 billion is unlikely to be close to what Apple
     might be awarded should it win the case.

     "There will be no settlement at or near those figures," said Dan
     Kaufman, an intellectual-property attorney with Brobeck, Phleger &
     Harrison in Palo Alto.  "If they ask for a number like that, they will
     have to fight to the death."

     The largest judgement in a similar case, involving a patent dispute
     over instant photography between Polaroid and Eastman Kodak, amounted
     to only $873 million -- nearly half of that interest accrued during
     the 14 years the case dragged through the courts.  Only a few
     class-action lawsuits involving thousands of victims have ended up
     with multibillion-dollar judgements, Kaufman said.

     Throwing such a figure on the table "makes it difficult to see them
     settling this for cash," said Doug Kass, a Dataquest Inc. analyst.

     Both Apple and Microsoft say they have no current intention of
     settling the case.

     [The Mercury News lets non-profit corporations reprint their articles,
     and even allows electronic distribution.]

     Addendum: In March, Microsoft said that Apple had increased the 
     damage claim in the lawsuit from $4.37 billion to $5.55 billion.


     <>Microsoft Files Dismissal Motions - Analysis by Charles B. Kramer<>

     Microsoft has filed motions seeking to dismiss Apple's claims in their
     user-interface copyright infringement case.  At issue is principally
     whether Microsoft's Windows copies a certain 10 "screen elements" from
     Apple's Macintosh GUI, and if so, whether the copying constitutes
     copyright infringement.  The 10 elements are all that remain out of a
     much greater number of "similarities in particular features" that
     Apple earlier asserted were wrongfully copied by Microsoft.

     Taken together, Microsoft's motions ask for dismissal with respect to
     the 10 screen elements on three alternative and largely overlapping
     grounds.  The grounds, in effect, are:


     The 1985 Agreement has come to haunt Microsoft, because in it
     Microsoft got a license to the Mac GUI, but also "acknowledged" that
     Windows Ver. 1.0 derives from the GUI in a copyright sense.


     In furtherance of this ground, Microsoft continues to assert, among
     other things, that the elements are not protected by copyright because
     they are merely the "functional" aspects of Apple's user interface,
     and are not "artistic" expression.  Copyright law protects artistic
     expression, not expression that serves a functional purpose.


     The status of this argument is the most unclear of the three.  In
     August, the Judge overseeing the case ruled that if Apple had copied
     expressive elements of the Macintosh GUI "directly... from
     pre-existing works", then Apple "has no right to preclude others from
     using those same 'unoriginal' elements".  But the Judge also ruled
     that Apple's GUI could be found original if the preexisting features
     it uses are "different" or are combined in an "innovative way".  The
     Judge also mentioned that a certain law review article "might well
     provide a sound basis" for deciding the case.

     The law review article takes the position that copyright protection
     should be a function of how much financial investment has been put
     into a work.  On March 25, 1992, the Wall Street Journal reported that
     Jerome Reichman, a copyright expert, stated that application of the
     theory to the Apple/Microsoft case is "just wild" and "really off the
     wall".  Perhaps Mr. Reichman is thinking of a recent Supreme Court
     decision that emphatically stated (although not in a user interface
     context) that mere labor and effort are *not* substitutes for the
     originality that copyrights protect.

     >From the League's point of view, only dismissal on ground [2] would
     be a clear victory with the best chance of correctly directing the
     copyright/user interface debate.  Unfortunately, Microsoft is unlikely
     to win dismissal on any of the 3 grounds, in which event the case will
     likely be decided by a jury.

     Charles B. Kramer -Attorney-
     >From Internet 72600.2026@Compuserve.com


	     <><><>LPF .signature publicity increasing<><><>

     Here's one example of a member who mentions LPF in his .sig, as a 
     growing percentage of members do.

	 ...just to let you know.  I receive one request for information
	 about the LPF every two or three weeks on average.  Not so bad.

     Francois Pinard        ``Vivement GNU!''      pinard@iro.umontreal.ca
     Consider joining the League for Programming Freedom. Email for details

     And one person's request for LPF info as a result:

	 Well, after seeing all these .signatures with your guys' name on
	 it, I decided to find out what it was all about.

     Last issue, I said that we were getting 2 or more .sig-generated
     queries per week; now it's up to 4 or more per week.  We've increased
     our size by one-third since the start of the year, from 450 to over

     Number of members who have joined or renewed within the last year:
     617.                                     - srm -


       <><><>On the road with rms - latest West Coast speaking trip<><><>

     This February, Richard Stallman gave five speeches for the LPF in the
     San Francisco area, including one of them at the Hastings College of
     the Law.  The other talks were at Stanford, Berkeley, and two CPSR

     At some of these talks he ran into some opposition from a new group
     called the "Abraham Lincoln Patent Holders' Association", which was
     founded by Paul Heckel.  (That is the person who threatened to sue the
     users of Hypercard in order to pressure Apple into paying him money.)

     One of Heckel's associates, a lawyer named Higgins, spoke at Hastings.
     The audience there seemed to believe Stallman more, but one attendee
     said, "That's because they are lawyers and they are trained to find
     the flaws in a fallacious argument.  If it were a less sophisticated
     audience, many of them would believe Higgins because he is a lawyer."

     At one talk, Heckel himself showed up, and proceeded to live up to his
     name.  Stallman mentioned the fact that Heckel has admitted not
     realizing that Hypercard might be considered to infringe Heckel's
     patent, until being informed of this by his lawyer.  Heckel said, "I
     was simply misinformed as to the scope of my protection."  Of course,
     this only substantiated the point that Stallman was trying to make,
     and pointing this out caused Heckel to sit down and keep quiet for the
     rest of the talk.

     Heckel came to Stallman's next talk also, but left three-quarters of
     the way through without saying anything.  What does this mean?
     The optimistic interpretation is that he was stymied.  The pessimistic
     one is that he came to gather ammunition.

     The remaining talk of the six was at the Critical Software Meeting -
     an annual meeting of people involved in software development for the
     DOD.  This talk seems to have had mixed success: several of the
     attendees said they were stunned by what they heard; but they did not
     vote to choose intellectual property as a topic for further work
     during the meeting.


     <>Mail: "How can I find out when LPF meetings are going to be held?"<>

     This question is becoming a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question).

     I don't know of any meetings coming up; the LPF tends to be light on
     face-to-face meetings.  We do have an annual meeting in Boston near
     the end of each calendar year, and all members are notified weeks in
     advance.  Adam Richter sometimes organizes meetings for members in the
     Berkeley area.

     Many of us do much of our interaction over the electronic nets, and
     projects (such as writing articles, having t-shirts printed, educating
     the public, etc.) tend to be initiated by one member, though others
     often help out.  If you'd like to volunteer to do something, that's
     terrific, as we can always use more.  If you can suggest a project
     you'd be willing to do, all the better.

     Members might want to organize meetings of the members in their area.
     People interested in doing this should contact both Spike MacPhee,
     spiker@prep.ai.mit.edu, and Adam Richter, adam@soda.berkeley.edu, to
     get help and advice.
			  mernst@theory.lcs.mit.edu (Michael Ernst)

     Michael maintains the LPF off-line print library of LPF, patent, and
     copyright articles, and the on-line index to them.  See "League Papers
     Online" in the Boutique section at the end of the issue.


	      <><><>LPF at SD 92 - Richard M. Stallman<><><>

     In February, the LPF had a booth at the SD92 trade show in Santa
     Clara, CA, just as we did a year ago.  This show is attended primarily
     by software developers from the PC world.

     The primary purpose of the booth was to inform more programmers of the
     problems they face, and to recruit their support.  A secondary goal
     was to raise money with buttons, t-shirts and mugs.

     The booth was staffed by Peter Deutsch, Peter Hendrickson, Hans
     Reiser, Adam Richter, and Richard Stallman.

     We had considerable success toward the main goal.  We distributed
     around 700 buttons and probably 1500 position paper booklets.  We
     signed up 14 new members at the booth.

     We didn't achieve the secondary goal; we spent around $2500 (including
     the cost of the supplies) and made back only around $1500.  (It's
     possible that additional people who met us there will join and reduce
     the gap, but it will be hard to tell.)  At this point, it is not clear
     whether we should consider this a cost-effective activity.


       <><><> Who's News: Judge Walker Adds to Drama Of Apple Suit<><><>
	By Richard B. Schmitt, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
		     WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1992
	  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. (c) 1992 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

     [The Wall Street Journal asked for $77 royalties for us to run 800
     copies of this two-page article in paper form only: they said it is
     illegal to reproduce this article in electronic form for network,
     email or database distribution, and would not give permission for
     anyone to do so for any of their articles.  The LPF Board chose not to
     distribute this issue in paper form only.  Check out this interesting
     article about the trial judge at your local library.]


	     <><><>LPF email lists - what they are for<><><>

     This moderated mailing list
      and its two sub-lists:
      and    league-activists-remote@prep.ai.mit.edu should be used only
     for members' requests for assistance in league projects, local or
     nationally, or for announcements from LPF.

     These lists are filtered by a moderator to:
	    - insure this use;
	    - minimize the number of messages;
	    - remove items meant for the list's -request address;
	    - forward items that should have been sent to another list.

     There may be a delay of up to 3 days for your message to be sent on
     L-act, so plan ahead for volunteer requests.

     League-tactics@prep.ai.mit.edu is for discussion of LPF directions and
     is not moderated.

     If you want to subscribe, change your eddress (email address), or be
     removed from either list, please use:

     or      league-tactics-request@prep.ai.mit.edu

     Michael I. Bushnell is stepping down after a year of being the ecom
     (electronic communicator) for league@prep.ai.mit.edu, the LPF's
     information eddress. We would like to thank him for the 2-3 hours each
     week that he spent as a volunteer on our behalf answering queries.


	<><><>Mail: an opinion against direct mailing - C. Jeffery<><><>

     Reading your [Jan] online edition of PROGRAMMING FREEDOM I am reminded
     of why I haven't renewed my League membership.  I believe in the
     League and its objectives, but I will not support the use of direct
     mail campaigns.  The easiest way to *not* support direct mail is to
     not renew my membership.

     99.9% of the direct mail I receive goes into the garbage can unopened.
     I resent it, and I suspect others may feel the same way.  Did the
     League really reach 4000 people?  I count 14 people, not 4000.  Direct
     mail is also wasteful environmentally.

     I am not offering a solution to the problem of delivering the league's
     message where it is needed.  I wish I could.  But I am voicing an
     opinion about direct mailing.  It has a worse effect on our society
     than software patents.  The ends do not justify the means.

					    Clinton Jeffery

     Last year league-tactics got a half-dozen messages from members who
     objected to direct mail for one reason or another.  This was Aubrey
     Jaffer's reply to them:

	 Direct Mail is the least intrusive form of advertising.  It takes
	 less than a second to throw away a piece of mail.  Unlike a
	 billboard or poster or television advertisement you don't have to
	 look at it day after day.  For example, It took longer for me
	 receive the first screen of your unsolicited message (at 1200
	 baud) than it does for you to throw away mail.

	 As for waste of paper and gas, We are sending out 4000 pieces
	 compared to the billion of pieces a day the post office handles.
	 Our mailing is made from recyclable materials (no windows in the

     If a large number of League members object to direct mailing then that
     could be a reason to stop; but just a half-dozen doesn't seem like
     enough reason to stop, given that the officers don't share the
     sentiment.  At present, the Board is planning to debate the
     feasibility of a 2nd experiment in direct mailing.  Make your pro or
     con views known to us at league-tactics@prep.ai.mit.edu.


	<><><> LPF Boutique: Materials Available from the League <><><>

	  Send your order to the League address in the masthead.

	  We have reprinted the famous ``fanged apple'' buttons.  These
     buttons show the symbol of Apple computer with an alien snake's body
     and face.
	  You can buy buttons by mail from the League, for $2 each, in
     quantities of at least three.  We give out buttons at events, but ask
     for a donation.
	  We also have stickers showing Liberty Empowering the Programmer,
     with the League's name and address.
	  You can order stickers by mail from the League at the price of $5
     for 10 stickers; for larger orders, phone us to discuss a price.  We
     hand them out free when it is convenient, such as at our events, but
     since mailing packages to individuals costs money, we want to make it
     an opportunity to raise funds.
	  Post stickers at eye level and separated from other posted
     articles, to make them easy to see.  The stickers are not made to
     survive rain.
			       Liberty Postcards
	  We also have postcards showing Liberty Empowering the Programmer,
     with the League's name and address.  Same terms as the stickers.

			     Large Liberty Posters
	  We have a few posters with the same image that is on the
     stickers, approximately 2.5 ft by 1.5 ft.  We used such posters to
     make signs for the protest rally.  If you need some, talk with the
     League and we'll work out a deal.

				  Coffee Mugs
	  Our coffee mugs have the Fanged Apple design in full color on one
     side and ``League for Programming Freedom'' on the other.  They hold
     twelve ounces and are microwave safe.  You can order a mug for $15,
     nonmembers $17, plus $3.00 shipping and handling.  They are now in
     stock.  Note the price increase.

	  Michael Ernst has produced t-shirts with Liberty and ``League for
     Programming Freedom'' on the front and ``Innovate, Don't Litigate'' on
     the back.  (The back slogan will change from time to time.)  You can
     order shirts by mail from the League for $10, nonmembers $12, plus $2
     for shipping and handling.  Available colors are yellow, blue and
     peach; if you specify a color, we will assume you would rather have
     the other color than no shirt.  If you want a chosen color or nothing,
     say so explicitly.  Please specify the shirt size!  (M, L or XL.)
     We are temporarily out of XL shirts, but are getting some back from a
     member who had volunteered to sell some and sold a dozen.

			Position Papers and Memberships
	  We will send anyone a copy of the League position papers.  If you
     want other copies to hand out at an event, we'll send you as many as
     you need.  Please discuss your plans with us.  One-year memberships
     are $42 for professionals, $10.50 for students, and $21 for others.
     The dues are $100 for an institution with up to three employees, $250
     for an institution with four to nine employees, and $500 for an
     institution with ten or more employees. For $5000, an institution can
     be a sponsor rather than a member.  We have 10 inst. members, now.

			      League Papers Online
     You can retrieve LPF written materials by anonymous ftp from
     prep.ai.mit.edu in the directory /pub/lpf.  These include the position
     papers, membership form, handouts, friends of the court briefs, and
     articles about the LPF's issues of concern.

			     League Video Cassettes
     We have video tapes of some of Richard Stallman's speeches for the
     LPF.  If you'd like to give LPF speeches, we can send you copies of
     these tapes to give you an example to learn from.  If you'd like
     copies for another purpose, we can send them for $20 each. <><><>

	    <><><> End of March 1992 Programming Freedom <><><>


	 League for Programming Freedom
	 1 Kendall Square #143
	 P.O.Box 9171
	 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139